Over 200 Karaudarnau farmers to benefit from $14M agro-processing facility

More than 200 farmers of Karaudarnau Village, Region Nine, will now experience a boost in their income with the commissioning of a $14 million agro-processing facility.

The food processing plant will allow farmers to add value to their produce including peanuts that are being cultivated within the community, which will in turn enrich their livelihoods.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha accompanied by the ministry’s Director General, Madanlall Ramraj, and General Manager of the New Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) Teshawna Lall, officially opened the facility on Saturday.

In brief remarks, Minister Mustapha highlighted the importance of the government’s investment in establishing facilities nationwide, especially in the hinterland which are intended to boost their economies.

“We want our people to produce, not only to be self-sufficient in their community but we want you to produce and bring value to your produce so that you can earn a decent living. That is why we’ve embarked in not only giving you planting material but we want to also bring these facilities so that you can process your produce,” Minister Mustapha stated.

Guyana, he underscored, is leading the charge in achieving food security within the Caribbean region, which is why significant investments are being pumped into the agriculture sector.

He also announced that the ministry will be providing breeding animals to the community this year to enhance livestock in these areas.

“We are working to develop communities so that you can produce everything in the agriculture sector. You could be self-sufficient in livestock, you could be self-sufficient in producing crops. We have supplied cassava sticks earlier and the Toshao has told me you need more, I have asked the chairman to make more available; you can collect your cassava sticks shortly,” he added.

New GMC’s General Manager, Teshawna Lall emphasised that the new plant will boost the quality of produce.

“The introduction of modern equipment will ensure the production of highly sought-after products, like peanut butter, roasted butter, parched peanuts, and cashew nuts. This in turn will command better prices compared to selling the raw products., enriching the livelihoods of those involved and fortifying our agriculture industry,” she said.  

Additionally, this initiative will contribute to Guyana’s fight against climate change by strengthening food safety and security.

Meanwhile, Toshao ofKaraudarnau, Apollo Isaacs welcomed the development in his community. Regional Chairman, Brian Allicock also made brief remarks.